Enterprises call for help to re-export black pepper stuck in Nepal

For having not opened letters of credit, 58 containers of black pepper of 13 Vietnamese enterprises exported to Nepal are stuck at ports in this country. Because their goods could not either be exported or re-exported, enterprises are asking the Prime Minister for help.
Enterprises call for help to re-export black pepper stuck in Nepal

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), on March 25, the Nepalese Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies issued a decision to suspend the import of pepper. Although the decision was effective as of April 6, the import control agency of this country only allowed customs clearance of black pepper shipments that had opened letters of credit before March 29 this year, leading to stagnancy in the export of Vietnamese black pepper to Nepal.

After receiving information from the Vietnam Pepper Association, Minister Tran Tuan Anh of the MoIT immediately sent a letter to the Minister of the Nepalese Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies to ask for support for Vietnamese enterprises. The Vietnamese side also constantly had online meetings with the Nepalese one to seek solutions to resolve difficulties for Vietnamese enterprises, suggesting that if it is impossible to carry out import procedures into Nepal, the latter should create conditions for Vietnamese enterprises to re-export their shipments currently at ports in Nepal back to Vietnam.

Fortunately, after receiving the letter from Minister Tran Tuan Anh, the Nepalese side said it would support Vietnamese enterprises in accordance with the law.

The Asia-Africa Market Department informed that, according to the regulations of the Nepalese Government, enterprises must have L/C opened before March 29 this year, and if they want to re-export shipments from Nepal, they must have re-export applications of Nepalese importers.

Unfortunately, most of the 13 Vietnamese enterprises did not open L/Cs. Moreover, in more than the past two months, since the day when Nepal temporarily halted imports of black pepper, importers in Nepal showed non-cooperation, they did not return the documents and did not sign the applications for Vietnamese enterprises to carry out re-export procedures. This has made Vietnamese enterprises unable to re-export their shipments as desired.

To provide maximum support for enterprises, the MoIT has been still actively coordinating with the Vietnam Trade Office in India concurrently in Nepal to work with the association and Nepalese importers to convince them to coordinate and agree to sign the application so that Vietnamese enterprises can re-export their shipments.

At present, the persuasion encounters many difficulties because Nepal has no representative office in Vietnam and vice versa. 

Luckily, at the beginning of July, some Nepalese importers agreed to sign the re-export applications and provided the re-export documents for containers of black pepper of Vietnam jammed in Nepal.

However, according to the MoIT, to be able to bring all the containers of black pepper back as desired, Vietnamese enterprises need to coordinate closely with authorities, at the same time, they must proactively persuade their partners to agree to sign the re-export applications.

The MoIT shares the difficulties that Vietnamese exporters are facing, pledging to try its best to support them; actively work with the Nepalese authorities to ensure that Vietnamese enterprises' shipments are re-exported after having all the papers and meeting the Nepalese regulations.

However, from this incident, it is recommended that enterprises engaging in export activities, especially with partners in South Asia such as India and Nepal, should take risk prevention measures. When signing a contract, it is necessary for enterprises to apply international trade conditions such as irrevocable L/C opening and advance deposit, and avoid the use of other risky methods that will be difficult to handle the problems that might arise, such as the case of Nepal temporarily suspending the import of pepper as currently.

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